Newsom awards $50 million to local communities to tackle encampments
Part of a $14 billion homelessness package that will create 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots in the coming years
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the award of $50 million in grants to 19 communities throughout California to provide shelter or housing for 1,401 individuals currently experiencing homelessness in encampments.
In September 2021, Governor Newsom set a goal of cleaning 100 encampments – since then, the state has cleaned 431 encampments, working with local governments to offer housing and services to former residents. The state is on course to clear 1,000 encampments by the end of 2022.
“Tackling the homelessness crisis is a matter of life and death,” said Newsom. “California is taking on the unacceptable status quo with a historic response to house thousands of our most vulnerable community members at an unprecedented rate, and swiftly addressing the encampments that pose the greatest threat to health and safety.”
Yesterday, the Governor visited an encampment in Redwood City, which is receiving a $1.8 million grant to rehouse 70 individuals. Video and soundbites from the visit can be found here.
“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s leadership and support to help end homelessness,” said Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale. “Redwood City will continue to collaborate with all levels of government in urgently providing services and finding long term solutions.”
Last year, Governor Newsom took unprecedented action to address the state’s homelessness crisis, investing a historic $12 billion to help get our most vulnerable Californians off the streets and get them the mental and behavioral health services they need. The California Blueprint builds on this bold investment with a proposed $2 billion to advance behavioral health housing and encampment rehousing strategies, creating a total $14 billion package. The proposed $2 billion investment includes a $500 million expansion to the Encampment Resolution Grant program, building upon the initial $50 million investment for the program last year. The program is intended to fund local projects to rehouse unsheltered homeless individuals in encampments, position people living in encampments on paths to safe and stable housing, and to restore public spaces to their intended uses.
“The 19 communities selected to receive this funding are committed to human centered, scalable and replicable projects, and represent urban, rural and suburban communities across California,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and co-chair of Cal ICH. “We look forward to supporting these community-led efforts that connect housing, services and human supports, and to scale successful strategies and approaches with future funding as proposed in the Governor’s CA Blueprint budget.”
The Governor’s multi-year homeless housing plan will provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots, once fully implemented.
The following cities and counties were awarded grants today:
- Santa Barbara County – $2.5 million to rehouse 200 individuals
- San Bernardino County – $1.7 million to rehouse 150 individuals
- City of Richmond – $4.8 million to rehouse 102 individuals
- City of Fresno – $5 million to rehouse 100 individuals
- City of Oakland – $4.7 million to rehouse 100 individuals
- City of San Jose – $2 million to rehouse 100 individuals
- Redwood City – $1.8 million to rehouse 70 individuals
- Santa Cruz County – $2.3 million to rehouse 65 individuals
- Orange County – $3.6 million to rehouse 60 individuals
- City of Los Angeles – $1.7 million to rehouse 60 individuals
- City of Petaluma – $1.3 million to rehouse 60 individuals
- City of Tulare – $1.5 million to rehouse 57 individuals
- City of Salinas – $4 million to rehouse 55 individuals
- City of Eureka – $1.6 million to rehouse 50 individuals
- City of Berkeley – $4.7 million to rehouse 45 individuals
- City of Long Beach – $1.3 million to rehouse 40 individuals
- City of Vista – $1.8 million to rehouse 35 individuals
- City of San Rafael – $522 thousand to rehouse 34 individuals
- Marin County – $317 thousand to rehouse 18 individuals
“We recognize that housing is health and that investing and scaling local programs that look to address the wholistic needs of our unhoused neighbors is vital to our success in getting more Californians off the streets,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “Our vision of a Healthy California for All is rooted in the idea that every individual belongs to a strong and thriving community, and where necessities like housing are complimented by access to physical and behavioral health.”
“With this important grant from the State of California, Long Beach will be able to rehouse 40 of our residents experiencing homelessness – with the dignity, compassion, and urgency that this work requires,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “I am thankful for Governor Newsom’s leadership on the state’s comprehensive response to the homelessness crisis.”
Newsom signs gas price gouging law: “Calif. took on Big Oil & won”
Following record gas price hikes and profits, Governor Newsom signed his special session bill to hold Big Oil accountable
SACRAMENTO – Surrounded by legislators and community leaders in the rotunda of the California State Capitol, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Tuesday to implement the strongest state-level oversight and accountability measures on Big Oil in the nation – bringing transparency to California’s oil and gas industry, shining new light on the corporations that have for decades operated in the shadows while ripping families off and raking in record profits.
It is the latest instance in which the Governor has successfully taken on the historically powerful industry for putting profits over people. Last year, Governor Newsom signed legislation adding new reporting requirements to oil refiners, as well as a law protecting neighborhoods and schools from oil drilling.
“With this legislation, we’re ending the oil industry’s days of operating in the shadows. California took on Big Oil and won. We’re not only protecting families, we’re also loosening the vice grip Big Oil has had on our politics for the last 100 years,” the governor said.
Authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), co-sponsored by Attorney General Rob Bonta and approved by a supermajority in both the Senate and Assembly, SBx1-2 creates a dedicated, day-in and day-out, independent watchdog to root out price gouging by oil companies and authorizes the California Energy Commission (CEC) to create a penalty to hold the industry accountable. The law will go into effect on June 26, the 91st day after the end of the special session.
When the law’s new transparency and oversight requirements go into effect at the end of June, the state will begin receiving more information than ever before, including last year when it appeared that oil producers suppressed supply to drive up prices and rake in record profits. Industry knows that the new independent watchdog division will be closely monitoring them and will refer any violation of law – including industry misconduct or market manipulation – to the Attorney General for prosecution.
Remarks from stakeholders and co-sponsors:
- Attorney General Rob Bonta: “Record high retail gas prices — and record-breaking profits for Big Oil — hurt those who can least afford it most of all. For too long, Californians have been left in the dark when it comes to the practices of the gas industry. And while oil companies have been lining their pockets, many Californians are struggling to make ends meet. I proudly stand with the Governor as he signs into law our cosponsored bill to bring accountability and transparency to the gas industry. Together, we are fighting to even the scales for California consumers and take this burden off their shoulders.”
- Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego): “This bill provides important tools to help Californians get the answers we deserve about oil company profits and price gouging. Through the leadership of Senators Skinner, Bradford, Limón, and McGuire, and our colleagues in the Assembly and the Administration, these new reforms are strong on transparency and accountability. That’s a big part of what it will take to stop any wrongdoing and protect California consumers.”
- Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood): “Assemblymembers deserve praise for developing and passing this legislation, collaborating with the Governor and the Senate in the face of oil company intransigence. Our deliberations have been rigorous and transparent. Transparency is what we need now from the gas pricing system. That’s what this bill is about.”
- Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), author of SBX1-2: “I am proud of my colleagues for passing this first-in-the-nation protection against price gouging by Big Oil. Californians faced outrageously high gas prices last year, prices that strained family budgets an extra $600 or more a month. In calling for immediate action, Governor Newsom responded decisively in proposing SBX 1-2, the strongest, most effective transparency and oversight measure in the nation. This landmark law will allow us to hold oil companies accountable if they pad their profits at the expense of hard-working families. With SBX 1-2, California has sent a clear message to the oil industry: Open your books and prove you’re not price gouging, otherwise Big Oil will pay the price — not consumers.”
- Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks): “A supermajority of the Legislature, in partnership with the Governor, has just delivered for Californians struggling to afford gasoline. Not only will this new law provide real transparency and oversight with dedicated expertise to oversee the gasoline market, it will also create a plan to achieve our low carbon and clean air future. While the work is just beginning, experts will now have the tools they need to address outrageous prices at the pump.”
- Dwayne Crenshaw, President, Greater Sacramento Urban League: “For far too Iong, Californians have been wrongly taxed at the pump by Big Oil. This tax has especially impacted those in low-income, urban communities of color, where residents struggle to pay for basic needs and can’t afford price gouging at the pump. Governor Newsom’s bold proposal addresses economic, environmental health and racial justice, while holding Big Oil accountable.”
- Mary Leslie, President, Los Angeles Business Council: “The key to creating a clean energy economy that’s good for business and consumers is ensuring transparency and accountability in our fuel markets. Governor Newsom’s price gouging law protects California families and workers, while supporting our clean energy transition which is a big win for all of us. We thank the Governor and the Legislature for their quick action to bring much-needed transparency to the industry.”
- Max Vargas, VP of Economic Justice, Latino Community Foundation: “We applaud Governor Newsom’s leadership to tackle gasoline price gouging in California. Latino workers and small businesses are the backbone of local economies, but they’re still reeling from the pandemic’s disproportionate fallout, which oil company price hikes are further exacerbating. The creation of an independent watchdog for an industry this powerful is especially affirming for grassroots community leaders across the state who serve the working families directly affected by this price gouging.”
- Melanie Morelos, California Strategy Senior Program Manager, The Greenlining Institute: “We applaud Governor Newsom, and the California State Legislature’s swift action to tackle Big Oil’s ongoing corporate greed. Too many California families are forced to choose between filling up the tank in order to get to work, over essential expenses like rent and childcare while oil executives line their pockets with record-breaking profits. This landmark legislation sends a clear message that we will not allow corporations to take advantage of our communities and that the reign of unchecked Big Oil is coming to an end.”
- Teri Olle, California Campaign Director, Economic Security Project Action: “Finally, California called Big Oil’s bluff and won. The real reason this handful of massive corporations charge California twice as much for gas is that they can. We applaud Governor Newsom and the legislature for taking significant steps in addressing the unchecked corporate concentration which has been keeping our gas prices so high and in creating a more equitable and fair economy.”
- Jamie Court, President, Consumer Watchdog: “This landmark reform makes California the first state in the nation to authorize a windfall profits cap on oil refiners so that they can no longer gouge consumers at the pump. Combined with unprecedented transparency measures and a new watchdog bureau, this price gouging penalty will prevent Californians from enduring the price spikes and profits spikes that have plagued the gasoline market last year. Governor Newsom has balanced the scales on behalf of millions of Californians who no longer will have to choose between $6 per gallon gas and putting food on their tables.”
- Matt Petersen, CEO, LA Cleantech Incubator: “The small business owners and startup founders we support–and the workforce they employ–are the engine of our state’s growing cleantech innovation economy, yet they all suffer from price gouging at the pump that is enriching oil companies. We applaud Governor Newsom and the Legislature’s leadership for pushing back to keep money in our cleantech workers’ and small business’ pockets while growing our economy–the fourth largest in the world–while putting in place bold, equitable climate action.”
- Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan: “I’ve supported the Price Gouging Penalty bill (SBX1-2) from the beginning because I saw first-hand the effect high gas rates had on our residents. Thanks to Governor Newsom’s fast action, Californians will no longer be charged unfairly at the gas pump by big oil companies.”
- Meghan Sahli-Wells, California Director, Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA), Former Culver City Mayor: “I am proud to join over 150 local elected officials throughout California who support transparency and accountability for an industry that has put their profits over our health, safety and wellbeing for far too long. We represent communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel pollution, unbreathable air and climate disaster, that, to add insult to injury, Big Oil has held hostage by unprecedented price hikes at the pump. We applaud the Governor for heralding, the and legislature for passing, this first in the nation bill to hold multi billion-dollar corporations accountable for price gouging, and laying the groundwork for a healthier, more just and economically vibrant California for all.”
Legislators, Capitol community to celebrate Trans visibility week
Trans Visibility Week and the International Transgender Day of Visibility, acknowledge and uplift the societal contributions of trans+ people
SACRAMENTO — On Monday, March 27, California legislators, Capitol staff, and community advocates will join trans+ community members to celebrate Transgender Week of Visibility, a series of celebrations leading up to International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31.
Legislators will wear buttons declaring “trans people belong” and spread their message of solidarity and inclusion for trans+ Californians across social media channels. The message will be echoed by leaders in the executive branch, labor, and advocacy organizations who are working to create a more just world for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.
“Across the country and even right here in California, trans people’s lives are being used for political purposes. These attacks bring real harm to our trans+ friends, colleagues, and loved ones, particularly our children,” said LGBTQ Caucus Chair Susan Talamantes Eggman. “It’s up to all of us to stand together with trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people to create communities that are safe for trans+ people to thrive.”
Trans Visibility Week and the International Transgender Day of Visibility, acknowledge and uplift the societal contributions of trans+ people. The week also raises awareness of widespread discrimination and violence that the community faces in the United States, around the world, and sadly, right here in California.
Trans visibility is more important than ever, as 429 bills attacking LGBTQ+ rights have been introduced in state legislatures across the nation, a record number, many particularly targeting transgender youth. Some of these proposals would force teachers to out trans students, deny trans youth the right to participate in sports and other activities, and deny affirming health care.
“Trans people shouldn’t have to fight just to exist or live safely in our communities,” said Evan Minton (he/they), a former Capitol staffer and national transgender advocate. “Trans visibility is an opportunity to celebrate the joy of being who we are.”
“The trans community deserves to live their authentic lives without the fear of harassment or violence. We are proud to join community advocate Evan Minton, state legislators, staffers, and the Capitol community to send a strong message that trans people belong and will never be erased,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Now more than ever taking a unified stance against LGBTQ+ hate is imperative. Equality California remains committed to achieve full, lived LGBTQ+ equality for all.”
Monday’s Capitol events come after several historic actions this week in support of the trans+ community. Earlier this week, the Sacramento City Unified School District board held its first annual trans pride flag raising, sending a powerful message of inclusion to trans students, teachers, and the entire school community. Last week, the District also passed a strong resolution affirming the rights of trans students and encouraging classroom discussion on the importance of trans visibility. On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council adopted a resolution declaring an annual Transgender Week of Visibility in the city. Sacramento County is considering a similar resolution on March 28.
For more information, follow @eqca, #transpeoplebelong #TransgenderDayofVisibility
Newsom eases drought restrictions
Since Governor Newsom announced the 15% voluntary conservation goal, Californians conserved 600,000 acre-feet of water
YOLO COUNTY – Governor Gavin Newsom today rolled back some drought emergency provisions that are no longer needed due to current water conditions, while maintaining other measures that support regions and communities still facing water supply challenges, and that continue building up long-term water resilience.
Amid climate-driven weather whiplash, the state has taken action to boost water supplies through groundwater recharge, stormwater capture, reservoir storage, and more.
Today’s action comes as the state announced increased water deliveries to 29 public water agencies that serve 27 million Californians, now expecting to deliver 75% of requested water supplies – up from 35% announced in February, and the highest since 2017.
While recent storms have helped ease drought impacts, regions and communities across the state continue to experience water supply shortages, especially communities that rely on groundwater supplies that have been severely depleted in recent years. Today’s order is responsive to current conditions while preserving smart water measures:
- Ends the voluntary 15% water conservation target, while continuing to encourage that Californians make conservation a way of life;
- Ends the requirement that local water agencies implement level 2 of their drought contingency plans;
- Maintains the ban on wasteful water uses, such as watering ornamental grass on commercial properties;
- Preserves all current emergency orders focused on groundwater supply, where the effects of the multi-year drought continue to be devastating;
- Maintains orders focused on specific watersheds that have not benefited as much from recent rains, including the Klamath River and Colorado River basins, which both remain in drought;
- Retains a state of emergency for all 58 counties to allow for drought response and recovery efforts to continue.
A copy of today’s executive order can be found (here).
“We’re all in this together, and this state has taken extraordinary actions to get us to this point. The weather whiplash we’ve experienced in the past few months makes it crystal clear that Californians and our water system have to adapt to increasingly extreme swings between drought and flood. As we welcome this relief from the drought, we must remain focused on continuing our all-of-the-above approach to future-proofing California’s water supply,” the governor said.
Since Governor Newsom announced the 15% voluntary conservation goal, Californians conserved 600,000 acre-feet of water – representing 1.2 million households’ yearly usage.
The Governor today visited the Dunnigan Groundwater Recharge Project in Yolo County, where he highlighted the state’s work to accelerate and increase groundwater recharge to make the most of winter storms. California is working to expand groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet in potential capacity as part of our water supply strategy.
Leveraging the state’s long-term water supply strategy and more than $8.6 billion committed by Governor Newsom and the Legislature in the last two budget cycles to build water resilience, California is taking aggressive action to prepare for hotter and drier conditions driven by climate change that could reduce the state’s water supply by up to 10% by 2040. In the 2023-24 state budget, Governor Newsom is proposing an additional $202 million for flood protection and $125 million for drought-related actions.
Here are other actions that Governor Newsom and the Legislature have taken to boost water supply, expand storage, and improve infrastructure:
- EXPANDING SUPPLY & STORAGE BY 1.1 MILLION ACRE-FEET: California has bolstered supply and storage through groundwater recharge and other projects, including a combined 1.1 million acre-feet of water – enough for 2.2 million households’ yearly usage.
- EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO CAPTURE & STORE MORE WATER: During recent storms, Governor Newsom signed executive orders to accelerate stormwater capture to boost groundwater recharge and other conservation measures.
- FAST-TRACKING GROUNDWATER RECHARGE: The state is expanding groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet in potential capacity – streamlining permits and $1 billion for groundwater recharge projects for 88,000 more acre-feet per year.
- MAXIMIZING STORMWATER CAPTURE: $176 million for 67 stormwater projects and streamlining permitting to take advantage of major storm events.
- EXPANDING STORAGE ABOVE & BELOW GROUND: California is supporting seven locally-driven water storage projects that would expand the state’s capacity by 2.77 million acre-feet – about three times as much water as Folsom Lake can hold. And, California is working to expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet to store more storm runoff.
- ADVANCING CLEAR, AMBITIOUS TARGETS: 142 actions to improve water resilience and bolster water supplies, and a roadmap for expanding urban stormwater capture capacity by 250,000 acre-feet and adding 4 million acre-feet of water storage capacity.
- MODERNIZING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: California is working to modernize aging water conveyance systems across the state to safeguard long-term water reliability and help carry winter storm runoff into storage.
Climate change has made California’s dry and wet spells more extreme and unpredictable – after the three driest years on record, recent rain and snowfall have dramatically changed conditions in many parts of the state. The state has also advanced actions to boost storage and supply. Today’s action eases drought emergency provisions that are no longer needed while maintaining others to support impacted communities statewide.
Harnessing water captured and stored from recent storms, the state also announced a major increase in expected State Water Project deliveries to local agencies – now an anticipated 75% allocation.
Newsom delivers State of the State letter reflecting on tour of Calif.
The Governor’s letter highlights key legislative victories over the past four years and the major policy announcements he made on his tour
SACRAMENTO – Fulfilling his annual duty to report to the Legislature the condition of the state, Governor Gavin Newsom today delivered a letter to lawmakers outlining his vision for the year ahead while reflecting on his recent Tour of the State of California.
The Governor’s letter highlights key legislative victories over the past four years and the major policy announcements he made on his tour to improve the lives of all Californians, lower costs for families, and create safer and healthier communities.
“As we rededicate ourselves to the work we started together four years ago, I offer you a renewed commitment of partnership and cooperation – as we strive to make the California Dream achievable for everyone who calls our great state home,” the governor said.
On his four-day tour, the Governor announced $1 billion in homelessness funding and the state’s largest mobilization of small homes, a historic transformation of San Quentin State Prison, $30 insulin through CalRX, and a transformative proposal to modernize California’s behavioral health system and more mental health housing:
|Tour of the State of California – Day 1|
Governor Newsom Announces $1 Billion in Homelessness Funding, Launches State’s Largest Mobilization of Small Homes
|The Governor’s Tour of the State of California started in Sacramento with state and local leaders, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and advocates to announce the release of $1 billion in funding to support communities across the state stepping up their work to reduce homelessness. The Governor also announced California’s largest mobilization of small homes to serve people experiencing homelessness, especially those living in encampments. The California National Guard will assist in the preparation and delivery of 1,200 small homes to Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose, and Sacramento — free of charge and ready for occupancy.|
“In California, we are using every tool in our toolbox – including the largest-ever deployment of small homes in the state – to move people off the streets and into housing. The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing – the two issues are inextricably linked. We are tackling this issue at the root of the problem by addressing the need to create more housing, faster in California,” said Newsom.
|Tour of the State of California – Day 2|
Governor Newsom Announces Historic Transformation of San Quentin State Prison
|Continuing his tour, the Governor traveled to San Quentin State Prison – soon to be “San Quentin Rehabilitation Center” – to announce that the facility, which is currently a maximum-security prison home to the largest “death row” in the United States, will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind facility focused on rehabilitation and education. The transformation will build on California’s existing work and best practices, utilizing evidence-backed research, and will be guided by an advisory group composed of world-renowned rehabilitation and public safety experts, along with survivors of crime and formerly incarcerated individuals. This historic effort will serve as a nationwide model to advance a more effective justice system that builds safer communities.|
“California is transforming San Quentin – the state’s most notorious prison with a dark past – into the nation’s most innovative rehabilitation facility focused on building a brighter and safer future. Today, we take the next step in our pursuit of true rehabilitation, justice, and safer communities through this evidenced-backed investment, creating a new model for safety and justice — the California Model — that will lead the nation,” the governor said after completing a tour of the facility.
|Tour of the State of California – Day 3|
Governor Newsom Announces $30 Insulin Through CalRx
|In Downey, Governor Newsom, alongside California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, health care advocates, and members of the legislature, announced California will be manufacturing and distributing its own insulin for $30 per vial. The announcement made good on the Governor’s promise on his first day in office to bring down the price of prescription drugs for Californians and increase accountability and transparency in health care. The state will pursue other prescription drugs through the CalRx program – next up: Naloxone, as part of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis.|
Newsom told those at the event: ““People should not be forced to go into debt to get life-saving prescriptions. Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year. But we’re not stopping there – California will seek to make our own Naloxone as part of our plan to fight the fentanyl crisis.”
|Tour of the State of California – Day 4|
Governor Newsom Proposes Modernization of California’s Behavioral Health System and More Mental Health Housing
|The Governor concluded his tour at a hospital in San Diego, where he proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness: A bond to build state-of-the-art mental health treatment residential settings in the community to house Californians with mental illness and substance use disorders and to create housing for homeless veterans, and modernize the Mental Health Services Act to require at least $1 billion every year for behavioral health housing and care.|
“This is the next step in our transformation of how California addresses mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness – creating thousands of new beds, building more housing, expanding services, and more,” Newsom said adding: “People who are struggling with these issues, especially those who are on the streets or in other vulnerable conditions, will have more resources to get the help they need.”
While traveling across the state for these transformative policy announcements, the Governor and First Partner spoke directly with residents and diverse community groups representing a broad range of constituencies. The Governor met with small business owners, nonprofit leaders, civil rights activists, artists, innovators, researchers, healthcare advocates, public safety experts, and community leaders.
Watch a video recap of the Tour of the State of California: (here).
Newsom proposes modernizing state’s behavioral health system
Newsom proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness
SAN DIEGO – Governor Gavin Newsom, in partnership with state Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), has proposed the next step to modernize how California treats mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness.
Governor Newsom proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness: A bond to build state-of-the-art mental health treatment residential settings in the community to house Californians with mental illness and substance use disorders and to create housing for homeless veterans, and modernize the Mental Health Services Act to require at least $1 billion every year for behavioral health housing and care,
An initiative would go on the 2024 ballot that would:
- Authorize a general obligation bond to:
- Build thousands of new community behavioral health beds in state-of-the-art residential settings to house Californians with mental illness and substance use disorders, which could serve over 10,000 people every year in residential-style settings that have on-site services – not in institutions of the past, but locations where people can truly heal.
- Provide more funding specifically for housing for homeless veterans.
- Amend the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), leading to at least $1 billion every year in local assistance for housing and residential services for people experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders, and allowing MHSA funds to serve people with substance use disorders.
- Include new accountability and oversight measures for counties to improve performance.
The MHSA was originally passed 20 years ago; it is now time to refresh it so it can better meet the challenges we face. Key changes that the Governor is proposing include: Creating a permanent source of housing funding of $1 billion a year in local assistance funds to serve people with acute behavioral health issues, focusing on Full Service Partnerships for the most seriously ill; and allowing MHSA to be used for people with substance use disorders alone.
“This is the next step in our transformation of how California addresses mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness – creating thousands of new beds, building more housing, expanding services, and more. People who are struggling with these issues, especially those who are on the streets or in other vulnerable conditions, will have more resources to get the help they need.”
According to the Governor’s office, the Administration plans to work in close partnership with legislative leaders in this space including Senator Eggman and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), as well as with the California State Association of Counties, other critical local government stakeholders, community-based service organizations, advocates, and people with lived experience as bill language is developed.
FACT SHEET (Link)
Previous initiatives include:
- $2.2 billion for the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program.
- $1.5 billion for Behavioral Health Bridge Housing.
- $1.4 billion to expand and diversify the behavioral health workforce.
- $4.7 billion Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, of which the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative is the central component.
- $1.4 billion to build out a Medi-Cal benefit for mobile crisis response, as well as $38 million to expand 9-8-8 and CalHOPE crisis call center.
- Over $600 million to support community-based alternatives to state hospitalization for those who commit felonies who are incompetent to stand trial.
- Over $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic.
- $7 billion to reform CalAIM – enhanced care management for people with serious mental illness, a no wrong door approach to care, and more.
- $1.6 billion proposed to implement the California Behavioral Health Community-Based Continuum Demonstration to strengthen services and supports for those who are at risk of homelessness, incarceration and foster care placements.
- $50 million for the California Veterans Health Initiative (CVHI) for veteran suicide prevention and mental health.
Governor Newsom announces $30 insulin through CalRx
DOWNEY, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom, as part of his tour of the State of California, announced that CalRx has secured a contract with a manufacturer (CIVICA), to make $30 insulin available to all who need it. The Governor also announced Saturday that California will seek to manufacture its own Naloxone.
Today’s announcement makes good on Governor Newsom’s promise on his first day in office, to bring down the price of prescription drugs for Californians and increase accountability and transparency in health care. Californians can learn more about CalRX on the newly launched website.
Newsom’s action will bring down the price of insulin by about 90%, saving cash-paying patients between $2,000 and $4,000 annually. With CalRx, and unlike private companies, we’re getting at the underlying cost – the price is the price, and CalRx will prevent the egregious cost-shifting that happens in traditional pharmaceutical price games. It’ll cost us $30 to manufacture and distribute, and that’s how much the consumer can buy it for. You don’t need a voucher or coupon to access this price, and it’s available to everybody regardless of insurance plan. This is a crucial step in not just cutting the cost for the consumer, but cutting costs across the board in order to bring cheaper prescription drugs to all Californians.
“To address the affordability crisis in California, we have to address the high cost of prescription drugs,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “The CalRx Biosimilar Insulin Initiative will benefit Californians who are today paying too much for a medication that we know is life saving and life altering.”
- A 10mL vial will be made available for no more than $30 (normally $300)
- A box of 5 pre-filled 3mL pens will be made available for no more than $55 (normally more than $500)
- No new prescription will be needed. Californians will be able to ask for the CalRx generic at their local pharmacy or via mail order pharmacies. Pharmacies must agree to order/stock the product.
- CalRx plans to make biosimilar insulins available for: Glargine, Aspart, and Lispro (expected to be interchangeable with Lantus, Humalog, and Novolog respectively)
- California signed a contract with CIVICA to manufacture affordable insulin
- The Governor will seek to manufacture Naloxone through CalRx
“People should not be forced to go into debt to get life saving prescriptions. Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year. But we’re not stopping there – California will seek to make our own Naloxone as part of our plan to fight the fentanyl crisis,” said Newsom.
Newsom announces $1 Billion in homelessness funding
Additionally, the Governor today announced the state’s largest mobilization of small homes to serve people experiencing homelessness
SACRAMENTO – On Thursday in Sacramento, Governor Gavin Newsom joined state and local leaders, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, advocates and other partners to announce the release of $1 billion in Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) Round 4 funding to support communities across the state stepping up their work to reduce homelessness.
Last year, Governor Newsom paused this funding to local governments and demanded greater ambition when they collectively proposed only a 2 percent reduction in unsheltered homelessness. Local governments have since revised their homelessness plans, now targeting a 15 percent reduction in homelessness statewide by 2025.
Additionally, the Governor today announced the state’s largest mobilization of small homes to serve people experiencing homelessness, especially those living in encampments. The California National Guard will assist in the preparation and delivery of 1,200 small homes to Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose and Sacramento, free of charge and ready for occupancy.
“In California, we are using every tool in our toolbox – including the largest-ever deployment of small homes in the state – to move people off the streets and into housing. The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing – the two issues are inextricably linked. We are tackling this issue at the root of the problem by addressing the need to create more housing, faster in California,” the governor said.
Newsom is challenging the status quo and implementing new approaches to solve the dual crises of housing and homelessness, with a focus on greater accountability. Small homes are cost-effective and can be quickly deployed to move people from homeless encampments into housing.
- After meeting with the Governor late last year, local jurisdictions have set new, more ambitious homelessness reduction goals and may now access $1 billion through round four of state grant program
- State is delivering 1,200 small homes to Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose and Sacramento to provide safe, interim housing for people experiencing homelessness
- Those living in encampments will be prioritized for these new units by the local governments operating the homes and providing services
Locations for placement of these small homes will be the responsibility of local jurisdictions. However, when needed and when available, the state will provide surplus land to use as an option for small homes. Local governments will own the units and provide all services, including recruiting residents, leveraging previously provided state funding. The following communities are set to receive small homes:
Los Angeles: 500 units
Sacramento: 350 units
San Jose: 200 units
San Diego County: 150 units
“Thank you to Governor Gavin Newsom for being innovative in his approach and a great partner in this effort. No one body of government will solve homelessness alone, and it will take local, state, and federal partnerships to ensure that we are collectively addressing this humanitarian crisis,” said Supervisor Nora Vargas, Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “These small homes are one important step to solving a bigger problem and will provide shelter and access to resources for our unhoused residents in San Diego County. Our Board is committed to prioritizing transformative policies to ensure our families, children, veterans, and seniors experiencing homelessness have a roof over their heads.”
“All different types of housing — small homes, motels, hotels, and more — are needed to urgently confront this crisis,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “This housing will help us bring more people inside, which is what our city needs right now. Thank you Governor Newsom for locking arms with Los Angeles.”
“The magnitude of the homelessness crisis in California requires a coordinated response by all levels of government, and I commend Governor Newsom’s ongoing commitment to partnering with cities and counties,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The addition of these small homes will get us one step closer to having the supply of emergency housing actually required to humanely clean up our streets.”
“We have a moral obligation to take urgent action to reduce the human suffering on our streets,” said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan. “This mass mobilization of small homes accelerates the innovative approaches needed to solve our state’s homelessness crisis. As Mayor of San Jose, I am challenging our city to move 1,000 unsheltered neighbors out of unmanaged encampments and into safer alternatives by the end of this calendar year. This initiative will help us get there.”
The addition of small homes is another tool the state is using to create more housing, faster in California. Since taking office, Governor Newsom has signed over 70 bills to kick-start and streamline the building process, including 20 CEQA reform measures.
Along with an unprecedented $15.3 billion investment, Governor Newsom has demanded more accountability at the local level when it comes to addressing housing and homelessness. The Administration has focused on working with local jurisdictions to meet their housing requirements, clean up encampments and get more vulnerable Californians off the streets and into housing.
Bill to protect Trans youth privacy passes Judiciary Committee
Assembly Bill 223, the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, calls to seal any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 223, the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, which calls to seal any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote Tuesday.
The bill now heads to the Assembly floor for consideration.
Transgender and gender non-conforming adolescents are more likely to develop depression and other mental health conditions, according to research by the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.
Researchers found the youth that participated in the study reported a higher prevalence of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and self-inflicted injuries than their peers who identified as the gender they were assigned at birth.
Assemblymember Christopher M. Ward (D-San Diego), who represents the 78th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, and San Diego introduced AB 223.
“The Transgender Youth Privacy Act is focused to ensure that those documents are sealed from general public discovery as many of our documents have become digitized and are too easily accessible to those who would do these youth harm,” said Ward . “AB 223 is about protecting youth from being bullied so they can navigate their daily lives as themselves.”
Under existing law, parent authorization is required for changing vital records for those under 18 years of age unless a court has emancipated them. AB 223 does not change the petition process, but it helps prevent online discovery of documents leading to “outing” and harassment. The bill would require any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor to be sealed to protect their privacy.
As a parent of a trans child, I appreciate just what this bill means not just to trans kids like mine, but to other parents of trans kids,” said Clarice Estrada Barrelet with the SoCal Family Law Group. “We submitted these petitions on behalf of our minor children who likely celebrated like we did when the petition was granted. And while the parents may be advocates like me, our kids did not ask to be advocates; they just want to be their true selves. And they have a reasonable expectation that this be private.”
Equality California announces initial 2023 legislative package
Create safe environments for LGBTQ+ youth, protect gender-affirming care, improve access to PrEP & protect marriage equality
SACRAMENTO — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced its initial 11 sponsored bills, including one constitutional amendment for the 2023 legislative year.
“The LGBTQ+ community is facing an onslaught of attacks by far-right extremists across the country with attempts to roll back civil rights that our community has fought tirelessly to achieve,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Here in California, we are standing up against hate and will continue leading the way to ensure LGBTQ+ Californians are protected, healthy, and can build a future that represents their values with a community that accepts and supports them. We are not allowing the ongoing attacks to set us back today — or ever.”
Equality California is sponsoring the following bills:
ACA 5 (Assemblymember Evan Low): Protecting Marriage Equality
ACA 5 is a constitutional amendment to protect marriage equality for LGBTQ+ couples with the intent to remove Proposition 8 from the state’s constitution. In 2008, Proposition 8 declared “only marriage between a man and a woman” as valid or recognized in California. If approved by the Legislature, the measure will appear before voters in the 2024 general election. Read EQ Calif. statement
AB 5 (Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur): Safe and Supportive Schools Program
AB 5 will specify the timeline for implementation of LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for California teachers and school staff currently under development by the Department of Education. The bill will provide teachers and staff with the tools and training they need to support LGBTQ+ students and make California schools safer and more supportive for all students.
AB 783 (Assemblymember Phil Ting): All-Gender Restroom Compliance
Building on landmark legislation that required single-user restrooms to be designated as all-gender, AB 783 will improve compliance with existing law by requiring cities to notify all business license applicants that single-user restrooms in any business, place of public accommodation, or government agency must be identified as all-gender restrooms.
AB 957 (Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson): Affirming Gender Identity
AB 957 will update California law to clarify that affirming a child’s gender identity is in the best interests of the child for purposes of legal name change and child custody decisions.
AB 1432 (Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo): Insurance Coverage for Abortion and Gender-Affirming Care
While states across the country are banning and even criminalizing abortion and gender-affirming care, AB 1432 will close loopholes in existing law to ensure that health insurance policies provided to Californians by out-of-state employers with out-of-state insurance contracts include coverage for abortion and gender-affirming care.
AB 1645 (Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur): Protecting Access to Preventive Care
In the wake of a Texas lawsuit targeting health insurance coverage for PrEP and other preventive services, AB 1645 will close loopholes and strengthen protections in existing law to ensure that California health insurers continue to provide free and complete coverage for preventive services like PrEP and STI testing.
SB 36 (Senator Nancy Skinner): Safe Haven for Abortion and Gender-Affirming Care
SB 36 will strengthen California’s “safe haven” laws by making it illegal for bail agents or bounty hunters to apprehend people who have left another state to avoid criminal prosecution related to abortion or gender-affirming care. The bill will also ensure that public benefits are not denied to people who need to flee to California to access abortion or gender-affirming care.
SB 339 (Senator Scott Wiener): Improving PrEP Access at Pharmacies
Building on first-in-the-nation legislation that authorized pharmacists to furnish PrEP without a doctor’s prescription, SB 339 will improve the ability of pharmacists to provide PrEP by increasing the amount of PrEP that pharmacists are authorized to provide without a doctor’s prescription and requiring health plans to reimburse pharmacists for PrEP services.
SB 407 (Senator Scott Wiener): LGBTQ+ Foster Youth Protections
SB 407 has the intent to strengthen protections in existing law to ensure that LGBTQ+ foster youth in California are placed in homes that are affirming of LGBTQ+ identities. Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are overrepresented in foster care, with multiple studies estimating about 30 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+.
SB 729 (Senator Caroline Menjivar): Insurance Coverage for Fertility Care
SB 729 will require health plans to provide coverage for fertility care, including treatment for infertility and in vitro fertilization, and ensure that LGBTQ+ people are not excluded from coverage and can build a family without the fear of cost.
SB 760 (Senator Josh Newman): All-Gender Restrooms for K-12 Students
SB 760 is first-of-its-kind legislation to require all K-12 schools in California to provide at least one accessible all-gender restroom for students to use safely and comfortably during school hours.
Newsom: SoCal city’s Pride flag ban “rank,” Walsh: a hate symbol
Newsom weighs in on decision by Huntington Beach City Council MAGA majority ban on LGBTQ Pride Flag- far right host says flag is a hate symbol
SACRAMENTO – During a press conference Thursday that announced the filing of a lawsuit and a motion for preliminary injunction against the City of Huntington Beach for violating state housing laws, during the question and answer period, Governor Gavin Newsom in response to the Blade’s question, ripped Huntington Beach over another decision to ban the LGBTQ Pride Flag.
“What a disgrace to take down the Pride Flag,” Newsom said. The Governor then went on to lament the reversal of progressive gains over the past several decades. He then called the actions by the city council “jaw dropping.” He then noted, [the decision to ban the flag] “whether it is legal or not it’s wrong and it’s shameful- these attacks, these assaults on the LGBTQ community.”
Newsom then stressed that [Californians] ” we have an obligation to call out the city council, call out that action- disgraceful, insulting, we are better than that. This state stands firmly behind the LGBTQ community and will continue to fight against homophobia and this kind of discrimination and just rank, rank, performative politics.”
A local Orange County political activist tweeted the governor’s answer to the Blade’s question:
Gov Gavin Newsom weighs in on a “rank” decision by the newly elected Huntington Beach City Council MAGA majority banning the LGBTQ Pride Flag on City property— 𝙻𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚢 𝚃𝚎𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚢 • #GoodTrouble (@LarryTenney) March 9, 2023
TY @GavinNewsom 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️
h/t @LosAngelesBlade‘s @BrodyLevesque for asking the right questions pic.twitter.com/6TrLgAEbvt
On Thursday morning during his regular radio show on far-right extremist media outlet The Daily Wire, anti-LGBTQ+ host Matt Walsh told his viewers that the LGBTQ+ Pride flag is a hate symbol.
“We should treat it as a hate symbol because that’s what it is. They fly the flag, that flag, because they hate you and your values and what you believe and everything you stand for,” Walsh said.From the March 9, 2023, edition of The Daily Wire’s The Matt Walsh Show
MATT WALSH (HOST): Let’s just put this plainly. The Pride flag does not deserve our respect.
In fact, it deserves our disrespect. It deserves our contempt and mockery. It is not the flag of gay people. Okay? That’s not what it is. Gay people in America, they already have a flag. It’s called the American flag. It’s the flag we all share or are supposed to share.
The Pride flag, which was invented by a far-left activist drag queen, represents not a person or a people or a community, but an agenda, a political and cultural agenda. It always has. It has from the very beginning. It still does now. And today, nearly all of the most depraved and perverse attacks on children, on tradition, on decency, on common sense are waged under this banner. That’s what it signifies. Okay?
The gay pride flag signifies drag queens dancing for toddlers, males invading women’s bathrooms. It signifies castration drugs given to children. It signifies the destruction of the nuclear family. When government officials send that thing up the flagpole or paint its ridiculous colors in the street, that is what they’re promoting. It’s what they’re advertising. It is the cause they want us to salute.
Not only should we should we refuse to salute it, but we should treat it with disdain. We should treat it as a hate symbol because that’s what it is. They fly the flag, that flag, because they hate you and your values and what you believe and everything you stand for.
And so we should respond in kind to this symbol. In other words, we should give the Pride flag all of the respect that the left shows the American flag. Let’s just put it that way.
On Tuesday, March 7, State Senator Dave Min issued the following statement regarding the Pride Flag ban in Huntington Beach:
“Tonight, the Huntington Beach City Council will have one final opportunity to vote in support of flying the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag on city properties from City Hall to the world famous Huntington Beach pier. The Pride Flag is not only a statement of our values of diversity and inclusion, it is a powerful symbol that Surf City is a place that welcomes everyone.
The Pride Flag’s removal sends the wrong message to our residents and to the millions of tourists who visit each year. Its removal validates the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hate that has become all too common in Orange County in recent years. Not only is this the wrong, it is an irresponsible move for Huntington Beach taxpayers given the swift economic fallout from companies seeking to do business in Surf City.
As a representative of Huntington Beach and 1.1 million Californians in the State Senate, I urge the City Council not to divide our communities when we have a responsibility to ensure everyone feels safe and valued.”
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